I am having a crisis with food at the moment.
While I am a lot more conscious about the food we buy, the food we eat and the amount of food we waste, Miss Logical and Master Mayhem do not seem to be coming along for the ride.
While Miss Logical and Master Mayhem assure me that they love a certain food – this week was mandarins, last week tomatoes, the week before that mashed potato – just as quickly they seem to fall out of love with it again, leaving me either eating huge amounts of mashed potato or with a lot of excess food that would normally just go to waste.
I know there are a number of things I could do with the excess food such as freeze it, process it, bake with it, but shouldn’t we be trying to a) initially prevent the likelihood of so much excess food and only then b) find other uses for as much of this excess food as possible.
The fact is, Australians waste 4,000,000 tonnes of food each year. To paint a picture, if you were to add all the food Australia wastes each year, it’s enough to fill 450,000 garbage trucks.
That’s 450,000 garbage trucks full of food waste alone!
The problem in our family lies in the fact that we have two very well fed chooks who live in our backyard, Margo and Jerry.
We have had Margo and Jerry now for a couple of years and while keeping chickens has a number of benefits one of the downfalls is our shift in attitude towards food waste. We all seem to have developed a shoulder-shrug-mentality of ‘Oh well, it’s not a waste, Margo and Jerry will have it.’
But no, no they can’t actually because Margo and Jerry already have fairly overpriced pellets to nibble on thank you very much.
I know all of this is not crisis type stuff when the food isn’t actually going to landfill but my real concern is what happens when say, Miss Logical leaves home – a long way off I know, but it will happen. What will she do when she turns to her new flatmate, who by the year 2030 will probably be having a few beers with some hologram mates, and asks “Where are your chooks?”
“Chooks?! What?!” The flatmate will yell over the raucous hologram party.
“Chooks, you know to give the scraps too!” Miss Logical will yell back.
“Whatev,” the flatmate will sigh and roll his eyes at the holograms who will all whoop with laughter.
The point I’m trying to make is what if Miss Logical doesn’t know what to do with her food leftovers other than to throw them out?
What would be better is if Miss Logical didn’t have any food waste to begin with because she was a conscientious food consumer or at worst knew that the food she didn’t eat would go in the fridge, ready to be eaten the next day and if it wasn’t eaten the next day, then frozen, or chopped, pulsed or cooked to go into something else.
Back to the present day and my solution is pretty simple.
Be more mindful of our servings and what we choose to buy and rather than giving this food waste straight to the chooks, find a way to use as much of it as we can and only then give whatever we really can’t use to Margo and Jerry.
I cringe writing this but the chooks actually get about a 2 litre ice-cream container full of scraps every couple of days. I am thinking I should try and get this down to one ice-cream container a week.
Physical Challenge!* I hear you cry.
Well Physical Challenge it is! I will get our scraps down to one ice-cream container a week.
*For those of you who have never heard the cry of Physical Challenge! You Tube ‘Double Dare Physical Challenge’ and you will find clips from (in my opinion) the most amazing kids game show from the nineties called Double Dare. I would still love to go on as a contestant!
Would you call yourself a conscientious food consumer or do you throw out more than you need to?
For more information about food waste in Australia below is a brilliant infographic from the Foodwise website which sets out the change in mindset we need to have about our food and how we use it.
Do Something About Food Waste infographic by lunchalot